“…preparing for the reauthorization of surface transportation programs, which expire on Sept. 30, 2014, will be a priority of the committee. Our national surface transportation network is the foundation on which our economy and our way of life are built. Without significant improvements to this network, and additional reforms to federal programs, transportation will become increasingly inefficient and unreliable, will be a drag on our economy, and will hurt the ability of our businesses to remain competitive in the global economy. We cannot let this happen and must modernize our national transportation systems.”

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January 2, 2013

I am honored that my colleagues selected me to serve as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I thank them for the confidence they have placed in me and will work hard to be worthy of their trust.

Transportation is important. It’s about people and how they live their lives. How they get to work; get their children to school; go to stores to buy food, clothing and other necessities; and how they visit family and friends.

It’s also about business. Transportation is a critical part of how the supply chain functions, how raw materials get to factories, how finished products get to markets, how food gets from farms to our kitchens and how energy products move from production areas to consuming areas. An efficient national transportation network allows businesses to lower transportation costs, which lowers production costs and enhances productivity and profits. It allows American businesses to be competitive in the global marketplace and for our economy to prosper and grow. One need only to look at our Interstate Highway System to see how investment in our national transportation network has benefited our nation and spawned tremendous economic growth…